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HomeGlobal NewsAmhara airstrike kills dozens — health official – DW – 08/14/2023

Amhara airstrike kills dozens — health official – DW – 08/14/2023

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A suspected air-strike in the northwestern Amhara region of Ethiopia killed 26 people, a health official said on Monday.

The strike hit the town center of Finote Selam on Sunday, the official said. The official said that another 55 people were being treated for injuries sustained in the explosion.

Militias in Amhara have been clashing with the Ethiopian military over Addis Ababa’s attempts to disband the outfits.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed speaks in parliament besides House speaker Tagesse Chafo
Ethnic Amhara militiamen have accused Abiy Ahmed’s government of weakening the northwestern region’s defensesImage: AP/picture alliance

What is the conflict in Amhara?

The Fano militia fought alongside the Ethiopian military in a two-year conflict in the northern Tigray region, which borders Amhara, and has resisted being disbanded since a peace deal was reached in November 2022.

Fano militants have accused the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of weakening Amhara’s defenses, allegations which Addis Ababa denies.

Ethiopia’s Cabinet declared a state of emergency earlier this month in the region after the Fano militias took over several towns. Last week, Ethiopia’s armed forces retook a number of towns by force.

Meanwhile, Ethiopia’s parliament was set to vote on Monday on giving formal approval to extraordinary measures which allow authorities to arrest suspects without a warrant, conduct searches and impose curfews.

‘Widespread’ arrests in Ehiopia — watchdog

The state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said on Monday that there has been “widespread arrest of civilians who are of ethnic Amhara origin.”

It said that there had been “heavy fighting in and around cities and towns across the Amhara region, which involved the use of heavy artillery resulting in the deaths and injuries of civilians, as well as damage to property.”

The Commission on Saturday urged the state of emergency be limited to one month and be localized to where the “specific danger is said to have occurred.”

The Associated Press cited two lawyers as saying that emergency measures appeared to be in effect in the capital, Addis Ababa. One of the two lawyers said 3,000 people had been arrested there.

While the Ethiopian capital is administered as its own federal unit, it is near the Amhara region and ethnic Amharas are the largest group in the city.

The federal government said that only 23 people have been arrested under the state of emergency in Addis Ababa. This includes opposition lawmaker Christian Tadele.

“(N)o suspect has been arrested apart from these 23 individuals and the information circulating that there are mass arrests is wrong,” the federal government said in a statement on Friday.

sdi/nm (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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